Evaluation is our bread-and-butter here at HARC (check out my previous posts here and here). Unfortunately, a common myth about evaluation is that it happens at the end of a project or program. While this is true, a more accurate statement is that evaluation has its place in all stages of a program cycle, from planning to implementation to summation and back to planning for the next round.
Last week I talked about how awesome program evaluation is, and how it helps you to quantify just how much your work changes lives. This week I want to go into more detail about that.
Many of you out there have big, beautiful goals for your programs—increase access to healthcare for low-income families, protect endangered species, advocate for human rights, provide high-quality education to all, etc. You sink time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into that goal. You WANT to make a difference, and to make the world a better place. Evaluation can help you prove that you did that, and make your impact statements something that will really blow people away (in a good way).